This is the not-so-little sedan that can. We were pleasantly surprised by the newest iteration of the Mazda3. Our good-looking Snowflake White Pearl Mazda3 four-door sedan reminded of its larger sibling the Mazda6 due to its design cues. In fact, we found it to be a comfortable and roomy automobile with luxe accents. Although the 7″ touch-screen display was optional, we particularly appreciated the standard blind spot monitoring and great sound from the 9-speaker Bose sound system. Also, the car is loaded with technology and systems usually found in much pricier models: a head-up display, lane departure warning, dual-control A/C, hill launch assist, smart city brake support, high beam control, keyless entry and more. How about Mazda Connect so that you can stay in touch with your Twitter and Facebook accounts along with HD radio, Pandora and other apps?
But one of the big new things in the Mazda3 for us is the Commander control switch — think BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Rear seats will fold to accommodate long items and head room is decent front and rear. On the energy front, you might have already heard from Mazda about their SKYACTIV Technology; however, some models come with the next level of energy recovery systems called i-ELOOP, which is the world’s first capacitor-based regenerative braking system. Despite all that, we only achieved a combined mpg of 26.7, quite far from the manufacturer’s proclaimed 34 mpg.
Don’t despair, though, as more than ever before the Mazda3 delivers phenomenal value, and you can take this “little” sedan on an array of city tasks and highway errands.